I watched and interesting story on the news this morning. It was about what experts are calling “The Great Resignation”. Basically what they concluded in recent studies is that the country is about go through mass job resignations from across all industries. It related to Covid-19 and the reopening of the country.
As you all know in April of 2020 everything basically shut down. We started wearing masks and washing our hands and never looked back. The only businesses that were allowed to continue operating were grocery stories, big box retail stores, banks, and a few other select businesses like liquor stores depending on which state you lived in. Restaurants we forced to closed their indoor dining areas. The travel and hospitality sector suffered. Everything related to entertainment and leisure became non existent. No movies, bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, gyms, and other indoor activities. Many offices sent home their non essential employees. Schools closed, forcing many districts to rely on remote learning to educate their students. Everyone had to learn how to use zoom. Some of us were deemed essential and never stopped working. Some were able to continue working from home. Then there were too many that were laid off because they worked for small businesses that couldn’t afford to stay open.
Some business were able to adjust their business models and continue operating. Many food service businesses focused delivery or curbside pickup only. The same with many small retailers. The government took some small steps to alleviate the economic weight that unemployment was having on some people. They raised the unemployment minimum payment. They declared a moratorium on evictions. They issued several economic stimulus payments on a national and state level. This helped to alleviate the pressure but just slightly. The payment were far and few in between. They ended the unemployment bonus at the end of the year along with the moratorium on evictions. Which meant many people still had to pay their back rent for the months they missed.
In 2021 we started to see a shift to reopening the country. States started gradually reopening. Some opened completely. Some will start to lift all restrictions in the coming weeks. The goal, with the advent of mass vaccinations is to fully reopen by July. This notion is creating anxiety for many people. Some because they are not ready to be around people. They may have had the virus or lost family and friends to the disease. Others have become accustomed to their new life at home and minimal outside interaction. The experts are saying that for these and many other reasons, people are considering resigning their jobs. Many say that if they can’t continue telecommuting they will have no choice than to resign. They say there will be mass resignations across the board. I don’t really understand how resigning from your job is going to help anyone. I didn’t get the luxury to work from home so life never changed for me. Then the people that were laid off would argue that they would’ve loved to have the opportunity to work and feed their families and pay their rent during the crisis.
Do they think the companies will call their bluff or this move will have their hands tied. I think if they do decide to resign in the hundreds of thousands, some industries will suffer. In turn it will be even more detrimental to the economic state of the nation. I think that it has been proven that many industries can survive and even thrive while keeping their employees safe. Going back to the way things used to be is counterproductive. The key is to create new ways of doing old business. The restaurant and bar industry has the biggest opportunity to reinvent itself in order to create new and innovative systems to better serve their customers, keep their employees safe and be able to continue operating if we have another crisis in the future that causes them to suspend sit down dining again. I’m kind of disappointed. I would have wanted to see more innovation at this point in the game. If you were closed for 6 months, why were you not plotting and brainstorming new and better ways to serve your clients when you were able to reopen. If everyone comes back with the same old way of doing things, they will not survive no matter how open the country is.
Many companies went to all online or appointment only services like the DMV. I think that these are the types of changes that should be permanent. You can take care of many things online or through mail that you had to wait in lines for hours to do before. You can make an appoint for other services that can’t be done online which means that you don’t have to wait in line all day like before. It also means that you have their full attention while you are there. They aren’t trying to rush you through the line. I think that any company that switched to zoom meetings and consultations should stay that way. Teleconferencing keeps the client and employee safe and brings the professional to you. It also allows the employee to do their job better by reducing the stress of commuting, and being in the office all day.
We will have to wait and see if the The Great Resignation actually takes place. I believe that we have been through so much that adding to the stress will not fix anything. It’s time companies revaluate the worth of their staff and make the best permanent adjustments for the business and the staff. How can we move into the future is we see the workplace as if it were the 70’s or or even if were still March 2019. The world has drastically changed. We need to change with it or risk extinction. Creating a global financial collapse is not the key to rebuilding. Creating new opportunities and innovative ways of seeing business is. So for now keep wearing your mask and limiting your interaction with strangers. Also, please speak up if you do not feel safe returning to the office. Your say is just as important as anyone else’s.